FORT MYERS, Fla. (Dec. 20, 2013)—More than a dozen students from the Southwest Florida Public Service Academy made the holidays a little brighter for dozens of families at the Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers’ Horizons Apartments on Dec. 19.

Students from the academy collected toys for more than 50 neighborhood boys and girls, and provided full holiday meals for two families within the Horizons community.

“I was a school bus driver before I joined the academy, so I’m aware of what children think of officers on the road,” said Benedicta Feliz, an academy student studying law enforcement who spearheaded the drive for her fellow students. “It was important for us to show these kids that police officers don’t just arrest bad guys but take care of their community by doing positive things as well. Seeing the smiles on these children’s faces is what it’s all about.”

Feliz said she hopes to work as a resource officer upon her graduation from the academy in February 2014.


Located at 4312 Michigan Avenue in Fort Myers, the Southwest Florida Public Service Academy is comprised of three concentrations of study: the Criminal Justice Program, the Fire Service Program and the Public Works Academy.

Currently, the Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers serves more than 3,500 low-income families throughout the greater Fort Myers community. It provides high-quality, stable and sustainable housing and related services to people in need. In addition, the staff works diligently in providing programs such as Resident Services/Family Self-Sufficiency and HOPE VI Community Supportive Services. The goal is to help families become self-sufficient, therefore strengthening the communities that use public and private resources efficiently and effectively.

The HACFM serves as a catalyst for increasing access to safe, affordable housing, and helping develop, preserve and revitalize communities through affordable rental housing. The agency is dedicated to empowering families with the means to become as self-sufficient as possible, encouraging and facilitating movement toward financial independence beyond the need for HACFM services while recognizing the needs and limitations of the mentally and physically disabled, aged and infirmed.

For more information on the HACFM or for assistance, call 239-332-3825.